Russian Circles Enter

Chicago’s Russian Circles are comprised of Mike Sullivan and Colin DeKuiper — former members of math rock band Dakota/Dakota — and drummer Dave Turncrantz (ex-Riddle of Steel). It could be the math rock background that makes this band tighter and less dissonant than a lot of bands in this genre. The opening track "Carpe” lulls itself into measured downtime before building itself back-up, and there’s often times a reminiscence of bands like GY!BE that allows for their changes to have a stronger effect. "Death Rides a Horse” may sound like a track from Palace Music but its dominating guitar solo is more like Slayer. The album pulls a lot of elements from punk, indie, metal and prog, which is why this album works so well — the songs don’t feel stagnate or sound repetitive. In a brilliant move they’ve kept the band vocal-free, meaning every song is full-on guitar solos and drums — with lots of cowbells. (Flameshovel)